Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS -

EX­CEL­LENCE in farm safety in Co Water­ford will be of­fi­cially recog­nised fol­low­ing the launch of a tar­geted awards ini­tia­tive for the county, writes De­clan O’Brien.

The Hooper Dolan Farm Safety Awards were un­veiled at Kil­dal­ton Col­lege last week and aim to iden­tify Water­ford farm­ers and agri-en­ter­prises that pri­ori­tise safety in their op­er­a­tions.

These are the first county awards of their kind in the coun­try and are backed by Tea­gasc and lo­cal com­pany Hooper Dolan In­sur­ances. The awards boast a prize fund of €2,000 for the win­ner.

The ar­eas to be cov­ered by the awards in­clude risk as­sess­ment, ma­chin­ery, live­stock, an­i­mal han­dling fa­cil­i­ties, build­ings, slurry pits, farm equip­ment, grain and feed stor­age, meal bins, farm yard, electrics, farm­yard light­ing, chil­dren’s play area and farmer health checks.

“Health and safety is all about the ap­pli­ca­tion of good farm safety stan­dards as well as good farm prac­tices,” said John McNa­mara of Tea­gasc.

“There are many fine ex­am­ples of good farm op­er­a­tions around the county and we need to high­light these ‘best prac­tice farms’ to help pro­mote aware­ness and bet­ter ap­pli­ca­tion of farm health, safety and risk as­sess­ment.

Cathal Lowe of Hooper Dolan In­sur­ances said the com­pany was de­lighted to spon­sor the award scheme.

“If this ini­tia­tive helps pre­vent only one farm ac­ci­dent over the com­ing years we would view this as a mas­sive suc­cess,” he said.

The judg­ing panel for the com­pe­ti­tion con­sists of Mr McNa­mara, Sue Phe­lan of Kil­dal­ton Col­lege and Kieran O’Con­nor of O’Con­nor Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Pic­tured at the launch are: Pat Coady (Glan­bia), Bren­dan Walsh (Glan­bia), Paul Hen­nessy (prin­ci­pal of Kil­dal­ton Col­lege) and John Paul Kiely (Hooper Dolan).

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